back to article Missing German doctor reappears after 22 years

A German doctor who went missing 22 years ago has been found - as a mummified skeleton under the rafters of his garage roof, The Guardian reports. Father of two Siegfried B went awol shortly after his 50th birthday back in May 1985. He told his wife he was going out and duly exited his house in Bergholz-Rehbrücke, south of …

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  1. Jasmine Strong

    Does this actually have *anything* to do with technology?

    Also, East Germany wasn't communist, it was socialist.

  2. DAJ

    Redmind me

    What does this story have to do with IT and it's related areas? More and more useless stories are creeping into TheReg -- are you in collusion with the tabloids!

  3. Webster Phreaky

    Idiot "Journalist" - "dovecot"

    Apparently this Idiot "journalist" either never passed 5th grade spelling or doesn't know how to use a dictionary. So what exeactly is the "dovecot" that the body was found in?? The City of Liverpool in his garage, OR was the body stuffed into an email software attachement?

    Or, maybe the DOPE meant a DOVECOTE!!!

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Dovecot can mean:

    * Dovecot, Merseyside, an area of the City of Liverpool.

    * Dovecote, a building for pigeons or doves.

    * Dovecot (software), an IMAP and POP software package.

  4. Joel

    Mummified?

    How so? Was he doing an experiment or something? Did he wrap himself up? And surely the wife would have smelled it?

  5. Aram

    But what about the inevitable smell?

    I've had to deal with a dead rat under the floorboards (and naturally well away from the nearest loose floorboard) and the smell was intolerable for about a week, then finally (mercifully) started to fade.

    A human body is significantly bigger and would go on (and on) smelling for ages.

  6. Steve Skipper

    What is that smell?

    "And what is that buzzing sound I hear every time I go into the garage?" she must have to her self........ for 5 months.

    How did she not notice?

  7. Alan

    Title

    Joel, you said "How so? Was he doing an experiment or something? Did he wrap himself up? And surely the wife would have smelled it?"

    Just to put you in the picture, "mummified" doesn't actually mean wrapped in bandages lol.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    "Also, East Germany wasn't communist, it was socialist."

    ROFL...

    I bet you're going to claim East Germany was a democracy too because the GDR had the word "democratic" in its name.

  9. J

    Well built

    Maybe they had their garages very well built in Honeckerland, and the smell couldn't pass down to the garage... I mean, Berlin is not that cold anymore in May, I believe, and summer is just around the corner. Yuck.

    Or maybe it was all the schnapps. Preservation in alcohol and all that, dehydrates cells and retards decomposition... :-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ref: Dovecot

    I live in Dovecot - we don't have street lights, we navigate by burning cars :-}

  11. Andy Bright

    Having recently received the same sense of humour bypass

    I also don't want the Reg to put any more amusing non-IT related stories on their site. As the world revolves around me, I don't see why I shouldn't get my way.

    Also how dare you mis-spell a word by one letter, outrageous, you should be sacked forthwith. Imagine, journalists that don't use Wiki's for their resources or spell checkers - bring back hanging, yoof of today, hrrmph.. blehhh.. blasted kids STOLE MY GNOMES AGAIN..

  12. Chris

    RE Idiot "Journalist" - "dovecot"

    To Webster Phreaky who said 'Apparently this Idiot "journalist" either never passed 5th grade spelling or doesn't know how to use a dictionary. So what exeactly is the "dovecot" that the body was found in??'

    It would appear that you are in no position to judge who has passed 5th grade as you do not seem to have done so yourself! Since you consider yourself to be such an authority on our English language, perhaps you would be so kind as to explain what the word "exeactly" means? I'm sure that we would all like to know!

    Or perhaps it was your impulsive eagerness to point out the spelling error of another with such venomous condescension that you completely undermined your own bloated sense of superiority by failing to demonstrate the care necessary (that most people would have the sense to show after launching such an attack) to avoid mis-spelling an even more commonplace word!

    Oh and by-the-way, as far as being able to use dictionaries is concerned, according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary the word 'dovecote' also has the valid alternative spelling of 'dovecot', so the very basis of your snide and vulgar criticism was in fact wrong in the first place! Perhaps you will demonstrate at least some redeeming characteristic by having the decency to grace the 'Idiot "journalist"' as you put it with an apology?

    Failing that, thank you for so wonderfully offering yourself up as such a richly deserving object of worldwide ridicule.

    Bwahahahaha!

  13. Tyson Boellstorff

    Good job, Lester

    Thanks for another shining example of exactly why I read El Reg -- to maintain my sanity, with a minor dose of IT news, so I can claim that it's work related.

    I suppose the best explanation of why the doc wasn't missed for 22 years is that his wife didn't look very hard because he didn't have any life insurance. A warning to all of us males out there to make sure we put the seat down and pay our bills on time.

  14. Niall Wallace

    Dovecot or Dovcote, Chambers say either as does Oxford

    dovecote or dovecot noun a building or shed in which domestic pigeons are kept.

    ETYMOLOGY: 15c.

    as does the OED

    dovecote

    /duvkot/ (also dovecot)

    • noun a shelter with nest holes for domesticated pigeons.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rats

    "I've had to deal with a dead rat under the floorboards ... the smell was intolerable for about a week, then finally (mercifully) started to fade"

    But you will be haunted forevermore by the knowledge that, underneath your floorboards, there is the spent cadaver of a dead rat. You could have helped it escape, or kept it alive with food and water, but you did neither. As you had your fun, laughing and dancing, the rat slowly died beneath you. One day *you* will die, and who will be *your* master?

    I believe that "the spent cadaver of a dead rat" would be a good name for an album track by Roger Waters.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Joel

    RE: Alan

    Joel, you said "How so? Was he doing an experiment or something? Did he wrap himself up? And surely the wife would have smelled it?"

    Just to put you in the picture, "mummified" doesn't actually mean wrapped in bandages lol.

    --------

    I realise that :P, what I'm saying is, if he clambered up into his roof with a bottle of schnaps, how on earth did he become mummified? Garage roofs are generally damp places are they not? Maybe he covered himself in soil or something.

  18. Joe

    The creepy legacy of the GDR continues...

    Really, this ex-country is a fascinating subject. Even 17 years after it's end it's producing stories like this! Weird as hell.

    Sounds pretty suspicious to me - even if he did commit suicide, it sounds like he had some involvement with or pressure from the Stasi.

  19. supamatt

    whats that smell! - pigeon shit!

    why didnt mrs dead doctor notice the smell?

    i) the dovecot was above the garage, ie separate

    ii) nobody said 'disused dovcot', so is it possible that it already possessed attendant smells and noises?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mummified

    Occasionally, a body dries out without undergoing the putrification normally expected. Every so often you read about someone who died and whose remains are found months or years later - and often they were in places such as apartment buildings, where someone would notice a foul odor of decomposition. I believe this occurs mostly in conditions of low relative humidity. Alcohol consumption would not play a part, since even a fatal dose for a human would have little effect on the bacteria in his body. This is a freakish occurrence, but there is nothing sinister about it - certainly it does not in itself point to foul play or shady dealings.

    As for the article having a technical aspect - well, they did mention Dovecot, which is a mail server. How anyone could convert a garage into a mail server is a mystery, though...

  21. jubtastic1

    Mummified...

    In pigeon shit by the sounds of it, must have looked like a plaster cast.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RFC 1149

    As for the article having a technical aspect - well, they did mention Dovecot, which is a mail server. How anyone could convert a garage into a mail server is a mystery, though...

    I assume they are using CPIP as in this RFC

    http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1149.txt

  23. James Cleveland

    It wasnt socialist or communist

    It was Stalinist, which is very different.

  24. the Jim bloke Silver badge

    obvious answer

    The Doctor was killed by Stasi/KGB using prototype WiFi technology to microwave his body, hence resulting in its mummification while being relevant to modern IT..

    Probably over some subversive plot to adopt the capitalist spelling of dovecote.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad Spellings

    Chris, give Webster a break. The fact that he used the term "5th Grade" suggests that he is probably American. You shouldn't expect him to be able to spell!! That and the fact he uses Wikipedia as a dictionary :-)

  26. Greg Williams

    The incredibly amusing thing is...

    It seems that some people have missed an important point.

    ... why do you think that the name 'Dovecot' was chosen for the email server software? I highly doubt a cot with a carved likeness of a dove on the headboard was what they had in mind.

    Was it possibly because of imagery? Messages pigeons flying in and out, as in times of yore? Maybe?

    Most importantly, get over it. People also make typos. This does not mean they have the IQ of an octopus, it means they missed a key on the keyboard perhaps. This situation is made all the more funny of course because he did NOT mis-spell 'dovecote' as 'dovecot', but just used an alternative spelling method that you, yourself were completely ignorant of, whilst trying to be clever at the same time.

    It amazes me how people can leap up and down and vent forth such vapid nonsense whilst attempting to assert a position of correctness, completely undermining any slim possibility they may have had in life for people take them seriously.

    Most importantly, get over it. People also make typos. This does not mean they have the IQ of an octopus, it means they missed a key on the keyboard perhaps. This situation is made all the more funny of course because he did NOT mis-spell 'dovecote' as 'dovecot', but just used an alternative spelling method that you, yourself were completely ignorant of, whilst trying to be clever at the same time.

  27. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Don't you just love it?...

    And we wonder why other nations see us as pompous a-holes? Still, at least we're not a nation of whingers.

    irony - it's like goldy or bronzey only made of iron.

  28. Demian Phillips

    humidity

    A properly vented attic/roof area will not be very high in humidity (depending local air humidity) because it also attracts quite a bit of heat, this will prevent condensation and excess humidity (above how much the hot air will carry out) to a point.

    Too much humidity and no proper venting for your roof means the joists and supports will rot out and you will be looking at an expensive repair bill in a matter of a few years.

  29. ian

    Anyone fancy editing Wikipedia

    to make Dovecot the official spelling in Websterworld?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dovecote or dovecot

    It should be obvious to all. A 'dovecote' is the building the doves/pigeons/rats with wings live in, a 'dovecot' is where the mummy birds tuck up the little baby birds at night!!

  31. Rob

    The best bit about all this..

    Is that Webster Phreaky cited Wikipedia as his source for the official spelling... Of all the dumb things to do citing Wikipedia as your source has to be fairly high on the list... You may as awell say "My little sister told me it's spelt like this, therefore it must be true..."

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